3-minute read. Supporting local music is something we are passionate about. Read the interview with the Viennese band VITRUV, winner of the Planet Festival Tour competition. We helped the band to enter the competition and they won (yay!). Yalda asked the six musicians about songwriting, music genres, music business and supporting local music.
VITRUV on songwriting
Yalda: What inspires you and helps you to write songs?
Martin (VITRUV singer): Daily situations and people I meet who somehow stick in my mind or heart. The experiences I gather inspire me as well. Sometimes there are melodies and sounds I try to capture. I am mostly inspired by bad moods. I feel really good lately, so I’m also writing just a few songs.
How do you write songs?
Vitruv: First, we try to find a rehearsal date (laugh). That’s not an easy task. Mostly Martin has an idea and we start jamming over it. We record the idea and leave some time for the idea to calm down. Then we listen to it one more time at home, and everybody can think of ideas how to continue. It worked well so far.
Do you know upfront if a song is going to be successful? Some artists say a catchy chorus is a sign for a great song. How is it for you?
Martin: I’ve never written a song with the thought “This one is going to be great”. I play an idea on piano or guitar and record it with the phone. Sometimes, when I start listening to it, ideas start coming. Or they don’t, then I know it’s not going to be anything.
Vitruv: Our live gigs are our strength. It’s not about one or two songs people love. It’s about the whole sound and the compilation of our songs. The way we create tension during the concert. We don’t want to have one or two amazing songs and place them between mediocre ones. We want the whole time on stage to be amazing – for us and the audience.
Have you ever tried jamming or rehearsing online?
No, we just learned about it here. If it works well online (it does!), we’ll try it out. Sounds interesting for sure. We wouldn’t need a rehearsal room (laugh)!
Do you have a ritual before each gig?
Vitruv: We write SMS to decide on the outfit (laugh). We like to have a beer before going on stage. It helps to relax and calm down a bit.
What’s the best moment you had on stage so far?
Vitruv: The finals of the Planet Festival Tour in Gasometer were awesome. We invited many people and they created an amazing atmosphere. It was great to see and feel the excitement of the audience.
Once you told it’s impossible to categorize your music with just one genre. How would you describe it?
It’s quite unchained. Some people tell us they have difficulties labeling our music, but they still like it. It’s also difficult when contacting booking agencies. They prefer music with a clear genre like Rock or Alternativ. And we’re always somewhere in between. Our mixed sound and Martin’s voice is what we’re famous for. There are not many bands out there, writing own songs with such a huge stylistic variety.
VITRUV on music business
Is there something about the music business you wished you’d have known upfront?
Martin: If we would have known about the music business, we wouldn’t have started (laugh). I am not a fan of networking, apple-polishing and all that stuff. But making music, the feedback you get, that’s the best feeling ever.
Vitruv: Networking has nothing to do with making music, and it’s still a big part of it. We don’t really have the time and power to connect with all the people after concerts. It’s definitely something we could improve. The network that grew organically are our friends, some other bands and bookers we enjoyed working with. We can really recommend working with a booker. They have connections you wouldn’t get that easy as a single band.
Which musicians would you love to meet in person?
They’re all dead already. Bryan Wilson, Yellowjackets, Dave Matthews.
About supporting local music
How would you like supporting local music?
We’d love to have a must quota for Austrian music on the radio. Something around 40-50%. It would make life easier for upcoming musicians. So far, hundreds of millions are being earned by huge international music corporations, that’s not nice. By playing local music on radio, you are giving the musicians the possibility to earn and reinvest into recordings and equipment.
Do you have tips for upcoming musicians?
Don’t give up and continue working. Don’t make music for the sake of money – make music because you love doing it. Find your style and stick to it. Stay authentic instead of thinking “How should I dress and what music should I write to be liked?”. And: Make music as long as you can.
What is coming up by VITRUV in the next months?
We’ll update our homepage and shoot some new photos. There are also some upcoming gigs so make sure to stay in touch. Thanks for offering us the possibility to enter the Planet Festival Tour, it opened some doors for us – like playing at Donauinselfest.